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PROJECT REPORT: HOTELS, RESTAURANTS & BARS


49


in a kind of cul de sac, and not very visible. “What we did was we pulled our building right to the forefront of the pedestrian line, and essentially drew up a canopy extension to intersect with the paving line at its limit in order to maximise impact and visibility upon the site – pulling people in.” When submitting their ideas for what this building would look like, the clients asked for a ‘blue sky’ option – giving the architects free rein to design a building as unique as its location – which was in turn accepted enthusiastically.


Design process


The idiosyncratic design – which is now in full operation – was not a random product of architectural fancy, but heavily inspired by its surroundings, function, and the principles of the studio.


Besides the intention to create an amphibious creature, forming “an extension to the lake,” the existing architecture in the park significantly influenced the practice’s plans. “Being in one of the Royal Parks,” says Jonathan, “whatever we did had to reflect and complement the architectural merit of the buildings around.”


ADF NOVEMBER 2019


This is easily understood, the park being awash with culture and monuments; as Jonathan puts it, it’s “a real Mecca of creativity.” The coffee house is located beside the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain for example, and just across the bridge from the Serpentine Sackler Gallery – not forgetting the numerous sculptures that surround these spots.


Located between such famous and artfully conceived waypoints, Jonathan realised that they “really needed a building that sits well within them.” To enact this, the team wanted to use state of the art manufacturing and design processes to create something that crucially reflected its function, which is essentially a cafe and coffee house, and looked far and wide for design inspirations. “We looked at the art of tea houses, and the Japanese architecture of pavilions and pagodas,” tells the architect. By keeping it aesthetically rooted in London however, this inspiration did not overwhelm the design: “The roof actually has a lot of principles of traditional architecture – you’ve got a classic dome at the front, which morphs into the eaves of a pagoda.” This roof sits upon a pavilion which, as


FLOATING


Largely uninterrupted, fully openable glazing to the cafe makes the roof appear to float above the structure


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